These are unprecidented times, but there are common sense ways caregivers can navigate the COVID-19 outbreak. Lillian Flake shares 4 strategies today.

Caregivers can navigate the COVID-19 outbreak successfully! So says today’s guest blogger Lillian Flake, a fellow parent who cares for her daughter Catherine with Down Syndrome. Today Lillian shares 4 common sense ways–some by not doing and some by doing–caregivers can navigate the COVID-19 outbreak. I hope you find her ideas helpful and comforting in this strange season.

We are in a very fluid time navigating uncharted territory. The impact of the COVID–19 virus makes us feel off-center, and it impacts every area of our lives. Our children are out of school and distance learning is the new normal. Many planned events are postponed or may not occur. Some people may feel as if we are living in war time and may experience a shortage in supplies or limitations on our freedom. There are a few things we can do as we work through this season:

  1. Take a break from the daily news. Many of us are at home full time and may have our televisions running non-stop. The news cycle is on a constant feed of the latest information. This overload can create feelings of anxiety. You want to stay current but you’ve got to pull away. I tune in early morning and late in the day. I stay up-to-date but not overwhelmed.
  2. Limit social media. We are all tuned into Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Too much of anything is not good for you, and this is one area where you have to set a limit. Simply tuck your phone away for a few hours and stop the information excess.
  3. Help someone in need. We’ve all been to the grocery store (probably more than we need to) over the last week and we’ve seen the shortage of supplies. There is that rare moment where you find that coveted role of toilet paper or paper towels. If you don’t need it, leave it for someone who does and try not to hoard. If you have an abundance of supplies, give to someone in need. Remember to check with your neighbor, co-worker or friend to ensure they have the basic necessities.
  4. Cherish this family time. My home is no different from yours. My husband and I are both working from home. My oldest daughter had to leave college and is completing her senior year through distance learning. My youngest daughter with Down Syndrome is on an extended leave from school and does not fully understand the changes. We are nesting together as a family. The time together is an unexpected delight, and I am looking forward to family dinners and Netflix nights.

Finally, remember that we are all in this together! Take the very best care of yourself and your family because caregivers can navigate the COVID-19 outbreak. We will weather this time, and I have hopes for better days ahead.

Lillian is a wife, mother, primary caregiver advocate, and scientist. She is the proud mom of two girls, the youngest with Down syndrome. Her youngest daughter had a heart defect and other health issues that required 92 days of hospitalization her first year of life. Lillian is a natural problem solver and understands the challenges every caregiver can face with the overwhelming tasks of managing hospitalizations, numerous doctor appointments, medications, insurance claims along with balancing the care of family. As a key component of her blog, Beyond the Waiting Room, she provides a peek into her personal challenges along with resources, tools, new technology and inspiration. In addition, she often speaks to groups in the medical field about CARE (Compassion, Action, Respect and Education) the cornerstone of treatment for all patients. 


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